UASHAT MAK MANI-UTENAM, QC, Oct. 20, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Innu First Nations of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and Matimekush-Lac John welcome yesterday's decision by the Quebec Superior Court, which dismissed motions by Rio Tinto (IOC) and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador that sought to remove the portion of IOC's operations in Labrador from the Innu's lawsuit. The Court decided that Quebec Courts have jurisdiction to hear the Innu's entire claim for $900 million against Rio Tinto (IOC) and can thereby also rule on their land claims on both sides of the Quebec-Labrador border.
"Rio Tinto and its IOC subsidiary are once again using every means to slow down the legal process with the aim of postponing the actual hearing on the merits of the case. This is our fourth victory in this case, and we're especially pleased that a judgment has finally demonstrated that our rights to our traditional territory, our Nitassinan, do not end at Canadian imposed borders," said Mike McKenzie, Chief of Uashat mak Mani-utenam. "This decision reinforces our desire and resolve to see this process through to the end. The company will have to face up to its actions and its systemic violation of our territory and our rights since the 1950s."
This is the fourth setback for Rio Tinto (IOC), after the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal by the company on October 15, 2015. This attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court followed the company's defeat before the Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal. At that time, Rio Tinto (IOC) asked the Courts to dismiss the proceedings against it, claiming that the Innu should take legal action against the government and not a private company.
"Rio Tinto (IOC) remains steadfast in unreasonably pursuing its rogue path rather than seeking to resolve a disgraceful chapter in its history. Several other mining companies are active and behaving like good corporate citizens in our territory and elsewhere in Canada. It is unfair to these companies that Rio Tinto continues to act as a bad corporate citizen," added Chief McKenzie.
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SOURCE Innu Takuaikan Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (ITUM)
For further information: Jean-Claude Therrien Pinette, Director, Office of the Protection of rights and the territory, ITUM, Cell. : 418-409-5681, email@example.com